No matter how small or large your business may be, your employees are one of your greatest assets. When they are healthy and happy, your company benefits in numerous ways. Promoting physical and emotional well-being at the workplace is as good for you as it is for your workers.
The Financial Advantages of Good Employee Health
When your workers are physically fit, everyone reaps the financial rewards. People who feel well are less likely to call in sick and have lower healthcare costs. What’s more, they have a degree of energy and enthusiasm to do their jobs that is absent in people who don’t feel well.
This energy is contagious in the best of all possible ways, leading to a higher degree of self-esteem in your entire team. Finally, workers for whom health and physical fitness is important often possess discipline and attention to accomplishing goals that can be huge attributes in the workplace.
The Sobering Reality
In our stress-filled, time-crunched culture, people of all ages often find it difficult to stick to goals or take care of themselves physically. It often seems easier to grab a box of fast food for the family on the way home from work than it would be to prepare a meal from scratch. That, combined with fatty snacks, cigarette and alcohol use and poor exercise habits, leads to a laundry list of medical problems for American adults: heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity are just the tip of the iceberg.
All lead to absence from work, frequent visits to doctors and hospitals and addiction. With each passing year, healthcare costs and business insurance rates reach an all-time high as consumer satisfaction with medical treatment falls.
Steps You Can Take
While you cannot control every aspect of your employees’ lifestyles, there are some proactive measures you can enact to promote wellness on the job.
- Before initiating a program, assess your staff’s needs. These may include weight loss, workout programs, smoking cessation, nutrition and holistic health among others. Review historical data to understand what specific areas the majority struggles with, and focus on these.
- Set up a wellness program. We’re not talking about discounted gym memberships; you need something that will help employees at all levels of physical fitness and ability. If your staff feel overwhelmed or ashamed or bullied into joining, your undertaking will be a miserable failure.
- Require commitment. Whether you are footing the bill for the program or sharing it with your workers, you need to get buy-in from everyone. Those who do not feel like they have a stake in the program will soon defect and may take many of their colleagues with them. This isn’t an “us versus them” scenario; all of you, employees and management alike, are in it together to become healthy.
- You don’t necessarily have to pay someone to run this program. The task can be delegated to a committee that can take advantage of many of the fully-formed ideas available online. Furthermore, there are websites and wearable technology that collect and track health information, making social media sharing an important tool in finding support and challenge.
Everyone agrees that the health of your employees should be one of your top priorities, and the ball is in your court. Each business has its own culture and ethos, meaning that you will probably find a way to promote health and wellness that is uniquely your own. Whatever you finally decide to do, your program will pave the way for healthier workers, lowered expenses and perhaps even a better bottom line for your company.